Newbies’ Guide to Networking - Remote Edition 

 Pivoting your career trajectory or changing careers all together requires a number of key steps; highly important among them is creating new connections. Connecting with others professionally opens you up to new understandings and perspectives on the field you want to join. It also helps you to be aware of opportunities, as well as to learn more about specific companies and organizations. And networking is key to making new connections. While it can be best to network in person, it is possible to do it remotely and everyone should be engaged in both remote or virtual networking, as well as in person or face-to-face networking. As many communities around the world are still under stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders or they’re continuing to practice social distancing, opportunities to network in person are limited, we’re going to kick off this series of articles on networking with a focus on tips for remote networking, but these tips apply if you’re...
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Changing Perspectives: Creative Detours

 I’m tired. I crawl home from my 8 to 5 hour day, eat a brief dinner, and then open my laptop to work on my portfolio, LinkedIn profile, or resume for the final hours of the evening. The constant revision and construction of a sample with an optimistic hope that it would satisfy a recruiter or potential employer. Weeks go by with the occasional interest that leads nowhere. Eventually, the tiredness leads to exhaustion before the creativity runs dry leaving a blank screen and the looming question: “Should I tap out?”

While I am sure and hope I am not the only one who feels this way, I also know persistence is needed for success. However, I feel that I have hit a roadblock. Initially, I felt roadblocks were negative and something I needed to overcome. Then, I shifted my perspective: Roadblocks force us to detour and lead us down a new path. When finding a solution in the corporate world, these detours lead to innovation. But, where does one find inspiration...

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How I learned to love feedback and how you can, too.

 I used to hate getting feedback. Performance reviews, observations, and peer work sessions in professional learning communities all made my stomach turn. I’m not perfect and I’m aware of it; being told about my imperfections felt just awful. But then I learned to look at feedback differently - I learned what feedback is and isn’t, I learned when it has value and when it doesn’t, and I learned how to use feedback to my advantage, to propel myself forward towards my goals; I learned to love getting feedback. I’ve had a lot of mentors in my many professional lives and I’ve had even more supervisors and managers, but the majority of those who gave me important feedback throughout my professional endeavors didn’t even consider how I felt about their feedback and if it was helpful. So, once I figured that out for myself, I have become a bit of a feedback evangelist. The following is my guide for learning to love feedback.

The first step...

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Teaching Nearly Killed Me; Instructional Design Saved Me

 I was a middle school teacher for almost 10 years and loved almost every second of it. My favorite parts about teaching were building fun and engaging lessons (ones that I just knew the kids were going to love), bringing the lessons to life and connecting with my students. My classroom was fun. My reputation and my team's reputation preceded me within the school district. I was asked many times over to help with one initiative after another, especially when it came to technology in the classroom. I would also present to my colleagues at workshops and district conferences. I used to think to myself, I found my calling. I was quite content and had no plans to be anything else except a teacher until I couldn't do it anymore. It wasn't until year eight of my career that I began to notice it; the tightness in my chest, rapid heartbeat, and frequent headaches. The symptoms came on more frequently this particular year as the group of students was more difficult to manage than...

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Teachers in Need of a New Career Path: Think Instructional Design

 

Teachers in Need of a New Career Path:  Think Instructional Design

Are you a teacher that seeks a new career?  Are you unsure where your skill set will be valued? Have you considered Instructional Design? If you haven’t, I encourage you to do so for many reasons. 

 

Hi there! I am Melissa. I am a learning designer and educator. I have been teaching for approximately 14 years but found I needed a new venture. I reflected on my teaching experience and discovered there were tasks I performed in my role as a teacher that I really enjoyed such as design and content development. 

When I started researching careers for teachers outside of the classroom, I discovered the instructional design field and fell in love with it. Now I want to teach you what I have learned in this journey.

 

Why Instructional Design is a Good Fit

Instructional design is a good career path for teachers because teachers possess many transferable skills. Furthermore, the...

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Kick Self-doubt to the Curb: Mindset Needed to Become an Instructional Designer & Online Learning Developer

 

The New Year has just passed yet again in the blink of an eye, or at least it feels like it. As a child, the years never seemed to move as fast as they do in adulthood. So here I am reflecting on where I have been in the last few years, and how I want to grow in 2020. Self-reflection is an essential part of growth and really assessing what we want out of life.  So, what do you want to achieve in 2020? 

 

I have been working on a personal ID project.  It really has been a labor of love, but it isn't moving as fast as I would like, but it is moving forward, and, in the end, it will be completed. Luckily, I am not in this project alone.  Through the IDOL Academy, I have met Molly Parsons, who has jumped on board to help with my project and has become my accountability and project partner.

Whether you are working on your portfolio or building your own LMS in my case, finding someone to hold you accountable keeps you on track.

 

I am excited to...

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Become an IDOL 15: Teaching Teachers Instructional Design with Bejanae Kareem

Published: November 5, 2019

Episode: 15

Teaching teachers instructional design with Bejanae Kareem

Guest: Bejanae Kareem, Owner of BK International Education Consultancy

In this episode of Become an IDOL, I’ll be chatting with Bejanae Kareem, Executive Director and Owner of BK Consultancy, about her experience creating and launching BK to transitioning from secondary education to instructional design and eLearning development. We’ll be sharing tips for how educators can incorporate instructional design STEM-based classes into the classroom, tips to overcome common challenges, as well as tips for teachers experiencing burn-out.

If you are a new listener to Become an IDOL, we would love to hear from you.  Please visit our Contact Page and let us know how we can help you today!

In this episode we discuss:

  • The best way to break into the instructional design field as a secondary school teacher
  • Fellowship:  Fellows receive on-the-job training in instructional...
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Become an IDOL 09: eLearning Community Project with Dana Kocalis

Published: July 15, 2019

Episode: 09

eLearning Community Project with Dana Kocalis

Guest: Dana Kocalis

In this episode, I’ll be chatting with the LinkedIn famous Dana Kocalis about her journey to become an IDOL and the eLearning community project she led and learned from last year. Dana is the owner of eLearning by Dana and a regular LinkedIn conversation starter. Last year we met when she started the eLearning Community project by posting on LinkedIn.

If you are a new listener to Become an IDOL, we would love to hear from you.  Please visit our Contact Page and let us know how we can help you today!

In this episode we discuss:

  • How Dana and I met on LinkedIn
  • How Dana landed her first ID job before she had an ID degree
  • The eLCP (eLearning Community Project) vision and outcome
  • Lessons learned by Dana after attempting to get 80 newbie and expert instructional designers together to build one eLearning course together.

 

 

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Become an IDOL 07: Scenario Design with Anna Sabramowicz

Published: June 11, 2019

Episode: 07

Scenario Design with Anna Sabramowicz

Guest: Anna Sabramowicz, eLearner Engaged

In this episode of Become an IDOL, I’ll be chatting with Anna Sabramowicz about scenario design. Scenario design is the secret to creating powerful messages in your learning experience design. Learning this technique early in your career will give you a huge advantage and an excellent tool for engaging your learners. You'll also learn how Anna became an IDOL without a degree or experience.

Anna Sabramowicz is a consultant who helps L&D Professionals struggling to move beyond “traditional” page turner training. She coaches ID's to craft engaging eLearning experiences without frustration, even if the status quo & subject matter experts pose a challenge.  Connect with her on LinkedIn 

If you are a new listener to Become an IDOL, we would love to hear from you.  Please...

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Become an IDOL 06: How Christy Tucker Became an IDOL

Published: May 28, 2019

Episode: 06

How Christy Tucker Became an IDOL

Guest: Christy Tucker, Syniad Learning

In this episode of Become an IDOL, I’ll be chatting with Christy Tucker about her experience transitioning from secondary education to instructional design and eLearning development. We’ll be sharing tips for switching careers and landing your first job even if you don’t have a degree or experience. You’ll also learn how Christy Tucker became a name brand in the field of instructional design.

Christy Tucker is a learning design consultant at Syniad Learning with over 15 years of experience helping people learn. She specializes in using scenario-based learning to engage audiences and promote the transfer of skills to real-world environments. She has created courses for clients including the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, Cisco, and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. Christy has been blogging about instructional design and eLearning for...

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